I miss the specific knowledge checks from 3.5 in the 5th edition.

In my campaign, it is often important to know something about minor and major celebrities of the time (queens, kings, dukes, wandering druids etc.). What's the best skill check to determine whether a character has heard or knows simple facts about them?

I've been using History (Int) so far for royal and noble celebrities, since I'm assuming those NPCs will show up in the history books of my world in a century.

But that feels quite makeshift, especially when they want to know about this wandering druid who is quite well-known amongst the lowly populace, but who will never end up in any history book whatsoever.

Knowing about that druid feels more like a wisdom check, but there is no associated skill check that vaguely goes in that direction. Should I go with a plain Wisdom check and add Advantage whenever a character has lived in an area that the wandering druid used to visit often? Should I do the same for kings and queens?


1 Answer 1


Whether they use a skill or not it should be an Intelligence check.

Intelligence checks...

draw on logic, education, memory, or deductive reasoning. 

(Emphasis mine) Wisdom has more to do with

how attuned you are to the world around you and represents perceptiveness and intuition.

Whether to allow the person to use History proficiency depends on whether the information they are trying to recall falls in the right categories:

 lore about historical events, legendary people, ancient kingdoms, past disputes, recent wars, and lost civilizations.

Otherwise, just make a plain Intelligence check. You can provide advantage if they are in a relevant background (Nobles may be more familiar with royalty and nobility) or location. You could also give disadvantage or even outright declining the chance to succeed if it is completely unrelated (such as an Outlander trying to remember a famous engineer).


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